BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 A.M.) – The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) has been wreaking havoc on the rebel-held areas of the Idlib Governorate recently, targeting several sites belonging to their jihadist rivals from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham.
Using their vast network of sleeper cells, the Islamic State has repeatedly carried out attacks against Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham fighters inside and outside of Idlib city.
As a result of these Islamic State attacks, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham has once again restarted their security operations in order to eliminate these sleeper cells from the Idlib Governorate.
However, this task is proving to be incredibly difficult for Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham, despite some success in identifying and destroying these cells.
Just last week, the Islamic State managed to conduct two terrorist attacks inside Idlib city; this prompted Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham to raise their alert levels around the provincial capital and begin search-and-destroy operations across the area.
While it is unlikely that the Islamic State can capture and hold any significant portion of the Idlib Governorate at this time, they could later carve out a mini pocket in the coming months as they take advantage of the ongoing hostilities between the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and rebel forces near the demilitarized zone.